If you’re thinking of remodeling your home’s interior, flooring is a great place to start. Check out these latest trends, and take your floors from blank canvas to the star of your space.
“Hardwood is a very popular option of course, but what’s trending is the new colors,” says John Marano, president of Hamptons flooring company We’ll Floor U. “Gray and white floors are making a tremendous impact. Wide plank is very popular right now, especially in gray.” Wide plank can be a bit tricky to make work in a home, since wide plank hardwood lacks stability. Luckily, there are myriad hardwood alternatives that will give you a quality look and long wear.
Many people are also going the way of engineered hardwood. With a hardwood veneer, you’ll have the look of hardwood, but less environmental impact. Instead of using a solid plank of Brazilian Walnut, you’re purchasing a thin veneer of the wood, placed on top of an engineered core. According to Marano, “engineered hardwood is great, because it’s more stable, and will look like the day you put it down for years. It has less chance of cupping and crowning, the way hardwood does. It’s more durable, and it’s typically less expensive than hardwood.” And, contrary to popular belief, engineered hardwood can even be refinished like hardwood, if the veneer is thick enough.
In fact, Marano advises against hardwood options in high traffic areas, like kitchens. “Wood isn’t as durable as people think it is,” he says. “Some people have been switching to ceramic tile that looks like wood, but, they only have a 3-foot section of pattern repeating. I prefer vinyl. It wears better, it looks better, and it’s waterproof.”
The vinyl he’s referring to is nothing like the tacky tiles you might be thinking of. Vinyl is now one of the best options for high-traffic households. It comes in many complex patterns that look just like real hardwood. Marano recommends Cortech, a vinyl plank with a cork backing, as it offers much in the way of durability and can match the aesthetic of any home.
Bamboo is another option when it comes to hardwood alternatives. Now available in rich brunettes and grays, and in wide plank, bamboo fits right in with current flooring trends. Certain styles even draw inspiration from the distressed look of reclaimed lumber. Bamboo is water resistant and very tough. Some bamboo floors are guaranteed to last up to 50 years.
If you’re looking for something unique and modern, consider cork flooring. A long-time friend of musicians for its acoustic qualities, cork flooring is one of the best sustainable, eco-friendly flooring options on the market today, and it is surprisingly versatile.
Each cork tile is made from the outer bark of the cork tree. Cork flooring is fire-resistant, hypoallergenic and has natural bug-repelling properties. The air-cushion effect that makes this flooring so music-friendly also makes it a fantastic thermal insulator. It can be dyed any color, from red and green to black and white, to suit your design style. If using cork in a bathroom or kitchen, be sure that they are treated with a proper seal to prevent water damage.
Reclaimed lumber is a great way to bring a bit of history and eco-friendliness into your home. And reclaimed lumber looks like like it has been a part of your home from the beginning.
Floors are one of the most noticeable features of your home. Choose one that sets the right tone, can accommodate the necessary foot traffic and fits your lifestyle. No matter which route you choose, you’ll soon be well on your way to walking through your perfect Hamptons pad.